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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Granite Backsplash?

One of the most common projects homeowners complete when they remodel their kitchens is replace the countertops. Upgrading countertops with granite is very popular. Adding a backsplash made of granite is also a trend. This not only adds a bit of style to the kitchen, but also ensures that the backsplash will last for years to come. The beauty of granite creates a new focal point for the kitchen or any area of the house in which a backsplash is used.

The Costs

  • Minimum: $34.75 per square foot
  • Maximum: $58.75 per square foot

There are many things that will affect the price of installing a granite backsplash in a home. The two main things to consider are the price of the materials and the cost of labor. The materials needed to install a granite backsplash usually range in price from $450 to $1,137, which depends on the quality of the material used. It is important to remember that the price won't include labor. The cost of labor varies, depending on the rate charged by the contractor who is hired to install the granite backsplash and on the amount of time it takes for the installation. On average, however, the cost of installation ranges between $375 to $475.

Before installing a granite backsplash, asking for a quote from multiple contractors will help you find the best value. It's also beneficial for the homeowner to let the contractors know they are shopping around for quotes. This usually encourages the contractors to put their best foot forward.


Granite material is usually cut in one of two ways: water or kerosene. It is important for the homeowner to know how his granite material is cut before the purchase is finalized. In most cases, manufacturers use water for cutting and polishing. Kerosene can be used as a medium, but this can create a problem because granite is naturally porous.

Manufacturers try to soak the granite in water to remove the kerosene, but some of the kerosene naturally remains in the granite. For the first 18 to 24 months, no difference is noticed. However, the kerosene eventually works its way through the polish, creating discoloration and pit holes in the granite. This is something that isn't experienced when granite is cut by water. Also, as kerosene evaporates, it can cause health problems or bad odors.

Manufactures know that kerosene, over time, can discolor the granite as well. However, some of them choose to use kerosene because it can extend the life of the cutting tools by 20 to 30 percent. This means that they can charge less for the granite that they cut. Only the homeowner can determine if the money the he saves on buying granite cut by kerosene is worth the risk of discoloration later.


There are many different types of granite from which homeowners can choose. One of the most popular choices is black granite. It is important for homeowners not to be fooled into thinking that dark-hued granite is black granite. Another popular granite is blue or Azul granite. As the name suggests, this type of granite has a blue pigment. Keep in mind that blue granite is not fully blue but contains a blue hue. It also comes in a number of different patterns and shades. Azul granite usually comes in white patterns.

For homeowners who like to think eco-friendly, green granite is a popular choice. This type of granite is not really more eco-friendly than any other type of granite, but its hue gives it a fashionable feel. One type of granite that is rare is pink granite. Due to the chemical reaction that is needed to create this hue, this is also one of the more expensive types of granite to have installed. China and Brazil seem to be the major sources for this pink granite.


In general, there are three different grades of granite, and choosing the right grade for a household is only something that the homeowner can do.

  • First Choice: This is the best grade because it has very few, if any, defects. It will also be finished with a high-gloss polish. Due to the high quality of this grade, it's the most expensive.
  • Commercial Grade: This is a step down from First Choice and is usually purchased in bulk. Commercial Grade granite usually has a few obvious defects or hairline fractures. Homeowners often choose this grade when they are looking for a good deal, but don't want to sacrifice all of the quality.
  • Second Choice: This grade of granite is not very well known by basic consumers. It has obvious flaws and is usually sold in small pieces that are not big enough to be used as a full backsplash or countertop. As a result, multiple pieces have to be put together, causing noticeable seams. However, these imperfections make Second Choice granite very inexpensive.

Advantages of Granite Backsplashes

Homeowners often choose granite because of its natural beauty. Plus, no two pieces of granite are ever the same. This means that homeowners are buying a backsplash that they know is unique to their homes. Granite is also a very hard material, so it cannot be scratched with normal use. Last, but not least, granite comes in so many different grades that homeowners can choose a price point that fits their budget. 

Disadvantages of Granite Backsplashes

To get nice looking granite, homeowners have to spend a lot of money. There are less expensive options to choose for backsplash such as tile. Due to granite being naturally porous, it makes a nice home for bacteria. Granite is also extremely heavy, which usually increases the price of installation.

Last updated on Mar 11, 2015

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